All parents can teach their kids geography skills by focusing on three simple steps. Kids need to know geography because everything takes place somewhere. Geography is integral to everything we learn and do!
Tyler’s funny story about the geographically illiterate customer service rep is recounted in this additional video below.
What Are Essential Geography Skills?
- Knowing how to read and use maps, atlases, and tools like GPS, Google Maps, and the compass.
- Knowing how to navigate, plan trips, and travel safely and effectively.
How Do You Learn These Basic Geography Skills?
Teach the basics of maps and atlases. Add atlases to your reference library, and use them frequently. Learn about the kinds of maps, how to read legends, latitude and longitude/gridlines, gazetteers, etc. Below is the hangout about atlases that is mentioned Tyler’s talk.
Incorporate maps into each area of study:
Everything happens somewhere!
Play with different atlases, making them part of your reading plan. When you read about a location, find it in the atlas. Make your own maps for practice! With younger kids, start small, like a room, house, yard, and then enlarge your maps as children mature to states, countries, continents, and the globe.
- Plan trips with Google Maps. Go geocaching or letterboxing.
- Plan a treasure hunt that gives clues in terms of compass directions, landmarks, and bearings.
- Take a survival course or learn about celestial navigation.
You may never need to navigate by the sun out in the wilderness, but you will have to figure out the best route to run errands or visit family out-of-town. And while your kids are learning, using maps and atlases help tremendously to give context and perspective to any subject (especially history). This is doubly important for visual learners.
This video is from our hangout series. On the second Thursday of each month from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m. ET, Tyler Hogan, the president of Bright Ideas Press, will be giving short interviews of 10-15 minutes on various homeschool and parenting topics. See the entire 2016 line up here. Or see all of our past hangouts on the Bright Ideas Press YouTube channel.